Samyukta Āgama (2) 4

Bhikkhu Saṃyutta

Monk “Elephant-head”

Thus have I heard, once, the Buddha was staying at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove, the Anāthapiṇḍika Park. At that time, when the hour to go on almsround had come, a number of monks put on their robes, took their begging bowls and entered the town to beg for food. There the monks heard that the monk “Elephant-head,” a member of the Sakya clan, had fallen ill in the town and died. Having finished the meal they returned, went to the Buddha, paid homage at his feet and sat to one side. They said to the Buddha: “World-honored One, this morning we put on our robes, took our begging bowls and entered the town to beg for food. There we heard that the monk “Elephant-head” had died. May the World-honored One explain to us where the monk “Elephant-head” will be reborn, what karmic fruit he will obtain.”

The Buddha said to the monks: “Those that cause the three negative factors to increase must, after the body fails and life comes to an end, fall into hell. What are the three negative factors? They are known as the increase of greed, of ignorance and of hate. Now this monk was guilty of the three negative factors. Understand, monks, that he will fall into hell.”

At that time the Buddha spoke this verse:

“If one gives rise to an unwholesome mind /
developing greed, hatred, and ignorance,
(and) does evil with one’s body /
one will harm oneself,
just as the banana plant when bearing fruit /
harms its own body
The absence of greed, hatred and ignorance /
is called wisdom.

Those who do not harm their own bodies /
are called victors.
Therefore, one should cut off /
the great suffering of greed, hatred, and ignorance.”

There the monks, having listened to what the Buddha had said, were happy and remembered it well.